Friday, May 31, 2013

Say Goodbye to Ginkgo

One of the most popular (& over rated)  herbal supplements has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. The National Toxicology Program announces after 2 years of study, clear evidence shows that recommended doses of Ginkgo Biloba causes liver cancer in mice and thyroid cancer in rats. Some of the cancers were quite aggressive, and some of the animals developed more cancers ever seen in an NTP lab before. Furthermore, there has yet to be any evidence to show that the use of Ginkgo improves memory and concentration, or delays cognitive decline.
The Food & Drug Administration has been telling food manufacturers to stop adding Gingko to foods and drinks for years. Since Congress passed the law of 1994 stating that the public has the right to make their own choices, it is harder for an agency to ban unsafe ingredients. Until it is removed from the shelves, the smart choice for the public is to ban the items themselves.
 ~ National Toxicology, 2013

Not So Splendid

Attention Splenda  users! Preliminary research in Italy has produced evidence of a link between high doses of sucralose (Splenda) and leukemia in laboratory mice. Of course, further studies will be conducted and evaluated before confirming an increased risk in humans. In the meantime, the use of caution is advised. Watch for further updates.
 ~Center For Science in the Public Interest, 2013.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Arsenic and Rice: Should You Worry?

Arsenic is a human carcinogen and it is found in nature, so it shows up in our food supply. It is taken up from the soil, and rice does it more readily than other grains, fruits, vegetables, and poultry. Toxic amounts found in drinking water have been known to cause skin, bladder, lung, liver and kidney cancers. Americans, however, are exposed to much lower levels, thanks to regulated water treatment and EPA standards. The amount of arsenic in a community's drinking water is public information and can be accessed by contacting your local utility company. To rid your drinking water of arsenic, you will need an under-the-sink reverse osmosis  filter. Pitcher or faucet filters don't do the job.
How concerned should we be about our daily exposure? According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, there isn't enough data to set a toxic limit on inorganic arsenic in food. Of course, the less you ingest, the better. It is recommended that adults eat no more than 1 1/2 to 2 cups of rice a week. You can also remove up to 50% of the arsenic in cooked rice by rinsing it with water, then cooking it in 6 parts water to one part rice, cooking until it reaches proper texture, and pouring off the excess water.
To check the arsenic levels in your favorite brands, go to Consumer
~Epidemiology, 2009